Link Building Basics

Knowing where to start and how to structure your link building campaign can be quite a task.It is very easy to over complicate this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) activity.

This is the first in 3 articles which will help to make this essential task much easier.

How should I start my Link Building campaign?

1. Back to basics
You might have spent many hours (days/weeks?) building a fantastic blog or website. It’s all too easy to lose track of what your objective is and who your intended customers are. Organizing your thoughts at this stage is going to make life a lot easier later on. Can you provide quick answers to the following and if not, take some time to evaluate your site before searching for link partners.

What is the purpose of my blog/website?
Who are my potential customers/audience?
Think demographics (gender, age, ethnicity, location, languages etc.)
What is my ultimate goal with link building?
Increase my ranking on organic Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?
Get listed in niche related directories which will produce specific traffic?
Build up good relationships with high quality non-competitive niche sites?
Combination of all of the above!

Do I have a budget for this SEO activity?

For some, these questions are probably answered very quickly with a quick look at their ‘business plan’. For the majority of us however, going ‘back to basics’ can put us on the right track again and point us in that much needed right direction.

2. Keywords & searching for link partners

What are you most relevant keywords?

You are going to use these to help search for potential link partners, let me use an example:

I have a website which sells Chess Sets. One of my major keywords for this site is ‘Chess for beginners’. What I need to do is find suitable link partners against this term:

Using the good old Google SERP’s, do a search for ‘Chess for beginners’
Investigate the top 20 sites associated with this term.

Most people will never look beyond the first 20 websites from a Google search and as such, the first couple of pages tend to get the majority of traffic.

Back to the example.

Because I sell Chess sets, it is very unlikely that similar sites (who also sell these items) are going to want to link to my site. What I am looking for is non-competitive websites which are associated with my business niche.

With this example, I can see a number of websites which offer advice, tips and study plans for chess players. Might be just what I’m looking for, must make a note of these!

Another good strategy

Still using the search results, identify who the main ‘competitors’ are.
Competitor is quite a loose term and can include the following:

Direct competition
Industry leaders
Companies selling other products to your target market
Sites which are competing with you for search engine ranking

Analise these sites to establish:

What your competition is doing?
Who they are linking to?
What are they doing well and how can you do better?

The last point is not necessarily about link building but a habit which is very good to form! Strive to be better than the competition.

Link Building with Guest Posting

A great way for a new site to gain traffic and backlinks is to submit unique and relevant article content to Guest Posting websites.

Tips:

Make sure your content is truly unique. Don’t try and ‘spin’ content which is already published on the internet.
Your article should be word perfect! If your main aim is catch interest and direct traffic to your website, your article really is your ‘shop window’. You are trying to create a great first impression and that includes content, grammar, relevance and presentation!
Don’t give away everything?

Your article should create the interest and make the reader hungry for more. This is not only about building links, you want the traffic; get them to your website for more information!

Which Guest Posting websites do I submit to?

A bit of research in this area is advised but I have found that submitting to a few of the big name Guest posting websites, and making sure that what your submitting is of course unique and relevant, creates traffic and starts to build good website reputation.

I have tried the mass submission Guest posting method, same article to multiple directories, including many of the lesser known and lower ranked ones, for me it didn’t work. Choose well established Guest posting websites like Examiner, realitysandwich or like the one this article is published on!); look for decent Page Rank and you can even Google for reviews to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

How many times should I submit a blog post?

Only once to each of your chosen Guest posting directories. Do not try and ‘spin’ the content and submit multiple times, the major search engine(s) is/are becoming very wise to this.

Hiring someone to write the articles for me?

For some, this works. Digital Point, Elance & Warrior Forum are all good places to source article writers, and much more beside! A few points:

If you manage to source a writer who can produce articles that your happy with and at a reasonable cost the go for it.
Personally, I think it’s important to fully understand the process of writing a relevant and effective article before ‘sourcing out’.
There are a lot of people out there who mean well and obviously put a lot of effort into writing articles for very little return. My websites are aimed primarily at the UK & US market and for that reason I think it’s important to cater to that audience with the use of the English language.
Always get sample of the writer’s work, if their style and language skills are suitable and acceptable for your site then you’ve hit the jackpot!
With a sample to look at, ask yourself some questions:

a) Is this content unique?
b) Is it relevant to your site and purpose?
c) Grammar, readability?
d) Will you spend more time editing the content that what it would have taken to write the article in the first place?

Some sites provide members with feedback scores and comments, it’s worth checking these out before you take the plunge.

I hope this article has provided a good insight into submitting articles for link building and some of the pitfalls to avoid. If you’re new to writing articles, why not have a go yourself, it can be daunting at first but gets a lot easier with practice.